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Cynthia E. Griffin

Stories by Cynthia E.

Children’s Defense Fund welcomes new director

Alex Johnson will use policies and programs to improve children’s lives

Former L.A. School Board candidate Alex Johnson is embarking on the next step in his journey to improve the lives of children in California.

Gun policy discussed

Community weighs in on Compton school board decision

Despite a refusal by school officials to allow a meeting to be held at Compton’s Roosevelt Middle School, a quartet of elected representatives (Congresswoman Janice Hahn, Mayor Aja Brown, City Rep. Yvonne Arceneaux and school board member Emma Sharif) convened a meeting in Compton this weekend to give residents an opportunity to voice their opinions about a new assault rifle policy adopted unanimously by the board of education in July.

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Bill gives all workers sick days

At least three days are guaranteed

Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed legislation that guarantees paid sick leave for all private-sector workers across every industry in the state.

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Black unemployment remains unchanged

Locally, hotel jobs may offer relief

For the second month in a row, the unemployment rate of Blacks has remained steady at 11.4 percent, which is just a little less than double the national rate of 6.1 percent for August.

Black lawyers seek police info

Targets 25 cities for misconduct data

Los Angeles is one of 25 cities that the National Bar Association (NBA) has announced it will send open records requests in an effort to end the nationwide police misconduct and brutality cases that result in the deaths of unarmed individuals.

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Uganda ‘Road Show’ arrives in L.A.

Tourism focus of meeting

People interested in doing business with Uganda have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with representatives of the nation’s tourism industry when the group comes to Los Angeles Sept. 2 for a reception from 6-9 p.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton, 1985 E. Grand Ave., El Segundo.

Metro fares to increase

Meeting will update rail extension

Beginning Sept. 15, fares will increase on Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) busses and trains.

Citizens ask Compton school board to review gun policy

Compton latest city to allow officers to carry ‘patrol rifles’

The Compton Branch of the NAACP and Mayor Aja Brown have asked the Compton Unified School District (CUSD) to “rescind” and “reconsider” a decision the board made during a July 8 meeting to allow selected officers on the school police force to carry high-powered AR15 rifles.

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Alex Johnson nominated for county post

Awaits nod to take on next educational challenge

A little more than a week after suffering a defeat at the polls to win a seat on the Los Angeles Board of Education, Alex Johnson is headed for a slot on a board that actually oversees the actions of the school district as well as nine others.

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Commitments target women and girls at African Leaders Summit

Obama, Bush hosted spouses

While President Obama met with various African leaders Aug.4-6, first lady Michelle Obama joined forces with former first lady Laura Bush, the George W. Bush Institute and the United States Department of State for a day-long symposium for the 30 first spouses of the leaders as well as non-government and non-profit leaders, private sector partners and others.

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Teen tech teams vie for seed funding

10 teams compete in Demo Day

The excitement was palpable. As each of the shirt-and-tie clad young men walked up to the front of the Frank Salvatori Auditorium at USC to start their presentation, it was obvious that what they were doing was vitally important not only to them, but to the more than 100 family and friends who crowded into to the event to support and cheer them on. In fact, one mom called out “that’s my baby,” when her son’s team was introduced eliciting laughter and a smattering of applause.

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California schools move into Common Core

New approach emphasizes more than getting the answer

With school starting around the region, parents need to know about a critical change that is being launched full scale at public schools in Los Angeles County.

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Africa summit highlights business opportunities

President pushes U.S.-African diaspora to get involved in international trade

During the largest gathering of African leaders that any American head of state has ever hosted, President Barack Obama on Tuesday talked about a number of initiatives that the United States and its global partners are engaged in to help the continent develop.

Africa summit highlights business opportunities

President pushes U.S. African diaspora to get involved in international trade

During the largest gathering of African leaders that any American head of state has ever hosted, President Barack Obama Tuesday talked about a number of initiatives that the United States and its global partners are engaged in to help the continent develop.

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Blacks, youth continue the hunt for jobs

July unemployment figures edge up

Although the national unemployment rate of 6.2 percent is up just a smidgen from the 6.1 percentage in June, Blacks did not fare so well as the rest of the country. In July, the percentage of African Americans looking for work crept up to 11.4 percent, an increase from 10.7 percent last month. This figure is edging back up to the 11.5 percent of Blacks unemployed in May. Overall, the change is little better than the 12.6 percent rate of one year ago.

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Skyy Fisher will not resign

Compton official says he is not guilty

Despite protesters Monday once again calling for controversial Compton School Board member Skyy Fisher, 31, to step down from his office as a trustee of the Compton Unified School District, his spokesperson, Jasmyne Cannick, said that the elected official intends to plead not guilty at his incoming arraignment. Additionally, he does not intend to resign, because that would be “jumping the gun,” and Fisher believes he is not guilty of the accusations.

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Urban teens set to pitch their tech companies

Demo day to be held at USC

URBAN Teens eXploring Technology (TxT) will cap off its 15-week summer program with a free demostrationscheduled Aug 2. from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at USC in Salvatori Computer Science Center Room 101, at 941 Bloom Walk, Los Angeles.

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President signs job training bill

Biden announces overhaul of workforce system

President Barack Obama Tuesday signed bipartisan, bicameral legislation to overhaul America’s job training programs while at the same time Vice President Joe Biden released a report that details how the administration is planning to revamp the federal training programs.

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House committee discusses suing president

Two experts veto idea

Two of three constitutional law experts testifying before the House Rules Committee on July 16 said essentially that the House of Representatives led by Speaker John Boehner has no grounds to sue President Barack Obama for his alleged “failure to act in a manner consistent with his duties under the Constitution and laws of the United States with respect to implementation of (including failure to implement) any provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and title I and subtitle B of title II of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

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How to grow internationally

Local businesses can learn key tips, resources

The United States Department of Commerce has created websites designed to help Americans do business in Africa and has begun an initiative to tap into the Latin American markets.

Weekend confab connects Blacks in technology

Urban Tech Weekend planned in Houston

After working 16 years in the technology industry, Andrew West has come to realize something critical—the digital divide is a global problem that must be addressed locally. And that is a large part of the motivation that helped him and the National Black Information Technology Leadership Organization (NBITLO) create a three-day event designed to cast a spotlight on Blacks in technology.

Tackling the tech world

#YesWeCode connects minorities, women to Silicon Valley

It may be extremely difficult and perhaps even impossible, as CNN News found out in 2011, to get the data on just how many minorities and women work at Silicon Valley’s top tech companies. But there’s one thing evident, the number is definitely not enough.

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Rally planned to protest CHP actions

Woman seen in video held in hospital

Community activists intend to hold a rally Saturday at noon in Leimert Park to protest “police brutality” in the wake of a widely televised beating involving a woman allegedly walking barefoot on the Santa Monica Freeway (10) on July 1.

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Budding entrepreneurs match wits

NFTE business plan competition targets youth

Students from around the county will participate in the Los Angeles BizCamp Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge July 18, beginning at 9 a.m., and the top three students will split $2,250 in prize money to use to help with their education or launch a business.

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Minority firms to be recognized

Receptions honors three companies

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center in Los Angeles will host its 19th annual awards reception from 6:30-8:30 p.m. this evening at the City Club.

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LAUSD targets young men of color

Strategies help teachers, students and parents

“Stop doing everything for us; let us struggle some.”

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HIV testing should be part of the dialog

National effort encourages knowing your status

Friday is National HIV/AIDS testing day and what better time to quickly review your HIV IQ.

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Administration eases student-loan debt

Caps repayment at 10 percent of income

According to a report released last week, “Taking Action: Higher Education and Student Debt,” California has more people with federal student debt than any other state in the nation—just over 4 million student loans valued at $103.42 million. Many of these college graduates are struggling to balance their current living needs with repaying this debt.

Mayor details strategies for economic development

Calls South L.A. the ‘heart’ of the city

Vowing to ensure that the future of economic development in Los Angeles comes to South L.A. and not through it, Mayor Eric Garcetti Tuesday laid out plans he said will help preserve and bring business to the community.

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Making sweet sounds of music

Local programs nurture next generation of musicians

When Hannah Innis was in second grade her parents, Rodney and Karen, asked her public school if she could join the orchestra. To their disappointment, they found out that the earliest their talented cellist could be part of the orchestra was third grade. This experience reminded the Los Angeles couple that the public school music programs at their childrens’ schools were not very aggressive.

Garcetti to speak at upcoming meeting

Chamber to pose questions for mayor

Mayor Eric Garcetti will be the keynote speaker at the June 17 general luncheon membership meeting of the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce, and the public is invited to ask their questions about business concerns.

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Summer offerings increase at schools

School is out and selected students at local public campuses have an opportunity to attend summer session.

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Crenshaw Chambers solicits questions for mayor

Garcetti to speak at upcoming meeting

Mayor Eric Garcetti will be the keynote speaker at the June 17 general luncheon membership meeting of the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce, and the public is invited to ask their questions about business concerns.

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Maya Angelou succumbs

She was 86

Although she was primarily noted in contemporary times for her poetry, novels and acting, Maya Angelou had a celebrated background in the arts that began when it was difficult for an African American woman to truly count on making a living as a creative artist.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Addressing needs of educational system

The Superintendent of Public Instruction is responsible for carrying out the rules set by the state Board of Education, as well as those dictated by the education code. The person holding this office is responsible for both public and private schools. The individual also acts as the state’s representative at the federal level, and is charged with addressing the financial and academic needs of students, schools and school districts.

School board chooses special election

Seeks a June 3 date

Despite listening to three hours of testimony from more than 100 speakers, the Los Angeles School Board voted Tuesday to hold a special election to replace member Marguerite LaMotte.

LAUSD delays decision on District 1

Will discuss options Jan. 7

After hearing the wishes and requests of a parade of speakers, including elected officials such as Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and former state assemblyman Mike Davis, the Los Angeles Unified School (LAUSD) Board voted Tuesday to delay making a decision about how to fill seat left vacant with the death of Marguerite LaMotte.

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Sebastian Ridley-Thomas headed to state captial

Easily defeats opponents

In the 54th Assembly District race, 26-year-old Sebastian Ridley-Thomas handily defeated his rivals to win the right to represent voters in the state government.

Black parent groups voice concerns

Seek more attention for African American students’ needs

Against a backdrop of achievement numbers that leave no one in doubt that African American students in California and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) are struggling, a coalition of Black parent groups and educational activists met recently at the Baldwin Hills Library to air their concerns about what is happening to their children in the state’s public education system and to recommend actions to begin changing the situation.

Diverse is watch word in 54th Assembly District

Candidates reflect that as well

The three candidates running for office to complete the unexpired term left in the 54th Assembly District when Holly Mitchell was elected to the State Senate are much like the district itself—a diverse collection of individuals.

October job numbers remain basically unchanged

Employers bullish on hiring

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment report, and although the economy added 204,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in October, the overall unemployment rate remained basically the same, up to 7.3 percent in October from 7.2 the month before.

Metro summit targeted small firms

Procurement opportunities featured

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO) held its first-ever Small Business Opportunity Summit Monday at the California African American Museum (CAAM) and about 300 people turned out for the event, which was designed to help entrepreneurs connect with agency executives responsible for contracting and procurement as well the contractor selected to construct the Crenshaw/LAX light rail.

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Students of color policed more heavily

Even elementary pupils ticketed

In a report released Wednesday during a student/community rally and street theatrical performance, The Labor/Conmmunity Strategy Center Community Rights Campaign found that despite an 80 percent reduction in truancy ticketing since February 2012 and as much as a 50 percent drop in school police ticketing across all categories, African American students are still almost six times as likely as White pupils in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to receive tickets.

Economic forecast highlights South Los Angeles

Comprehensive plan needed

Driving through communities like Chinatown and Little Tokyo, Forescee Hogan-Rowles used to wonder why it wasn’t happening in South Los Angeles. She also asked why they weren’t doing anything to make it happen.

Young people benefit from Obamacare

Low-cost plan available

The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (Obamacare) which goes into effect January 2014 and began enrolling people on Oct. 1, has a number of provisions that specifically speak to the health needs of adolescents and young adults.

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CAAM gala helps fund the future

L.A. legend, Carmen De Lavallade, among honorees

As executive director of the California African American Museum (CAAM), Charmaine Jefferson knows that how much money the partially state-funded cultural facility raises Saturday during its annual gala will depend in great measure on how artfully she can coax donors to part with their hard-earned dollars and put them into the museum’s coffer.

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Arts icon, Cecil Fergerson, succumbs

Demanded decades of recognition for people of color

Every July, the Black arts community found itself at the center of a big bash celebrating the birthday of a man some called the “Godfather” of L.A.’s African American arts community.

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Ralphs set to invest in local store

Planning for remodel of Manchester/Western location in motion

More than 30 leaders and members of neighborhood councils, block clubs and other community groups met Saturday with representatives from the Ralphs grocery chain to express concern about the future of some of the remaining stores in South Los Angeles.

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Mental illness is a family issue

Blacks need to push past the stigma

The actions of former Naval reservist Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 people and wounded eight others at a Washington, D.C. naval base Tuesday, once again turns a spotlight on mental illness in the Black community.

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Black unemployment inches up

National numbers remain steady at 7.3 percent

Despite a Bureau of Labor Statistics report that the national unemployment rate remained basically the same, (at 7.3 percent for August compared to 7.4 in July) and that 169,000 non-farm, private sector jobs were added to the economy, the percentage of African Americans participating in the civilian labor force slipped overall from 61.4 percent in July to 60.8 percent in August.